Tori Helene combines earworm pop production and glimmering vocals on her first project of the year, Moonchild. Teaming up with frequent collaborator and producer Natown, the Cincinnati-based songstress breezes through feelings of longing, lust and dissatisfaction in relationships on the seven-song EP.
Helene asserts her expectations on songs like “Figure it Out” and “Passion,” where she laments lackluster romance. However, she also shows self-awareness on songs like “Moody,” where she acknowledges her own shortcomings in relationships. Besides her direct and vulnerable lyrics, Helene’s music stands out for her glossy vocal range, which is complimented especially on Moonchild by Natown and others’ production.
So far, Helene has released visuals for Moonchild cuts “Little Black Dress” and “Sleepwalking,” the former of which ended with a teaser for “Moody.” The singer-songwriter is now working on filming live video performances for “Passion” and “Sleepwalking.”
Below, Helene answers questions about Moonchild, getting vulnerable in her songwriting, upcoming videos and what else she’s working on, including a new EP slated for release in 2022. Read her Q&A with Audiofemme below.
AF: Congratulations on releasing Moonchild! When did you start working on this project?
TH: Thank you so much! I started working on Moonchild in August of 2020. I was DoorDashing one day and listening to beats in the car, and I started writing some songs and felt it was time to start working on the EP. Those car rides really helped my inspiration for writing the project.
AF: What producers did you work with for Moonchild?
TH: I worked with Natown – like always, and I also started working with a producer named VSHY from the Netherlands. He’s really dope. I found him online and started reaching out to him and getting beats.
AF: The video for “Sleepwalking” was super fun and cute. What was filming that like?
TH: The “Sleepwalking” video shoot was a good time! I asked two girls that I know from the music scene here – a very talented artist name Sahara and dope engineer Ihlana [Niayla] from Timeless Recording Studio, where I record my music – to be a part of the video. I wanted it to have a mini girls night/kickback vibe and they did amazing and had great energy. The overall energy on-set was so fun, which is what I wanted since the song is so upbeat and light-hearted.
AF: If you had to pick one, what is your favorite Moonchild song and why?
TH: I love all the songs on Moonchild with all of my heart, but, if I had to choose, my favorite one would be “Moody.” That one is produced by VSHY, and I fell in love with the beat instantly. It actually made me cry, it moved me that much. Some records are just so effortless for me to make, and “Moody” was one of them. The song is about me getting into my moods, where I can be clingy or have an attitude when I don’t get my way, and it was very freeing to write. I’m basically admitting a flaw that I have, which I felt was growth. I love that song so much! I’ll never ever get tired of it.
AF: “Passion” has to be one of my favorites off the project. What was your inspiration behind that song?
TH: I love “Passion” so much. What inspired me to write “Passion” was my dating life! I get very unsatisfied and bored with men and relationships. I’m sick of the boring conversations and the lack of depth. When I wrote “Passion,” I was visualizing having a romantic dinner, going on trips, being wined-and-dined. It was literally me asking, ‘Where is the passion?’ I need that in my life!
AF: Do most of your songwriting ideas come from personal experiences, or from other people in your life?
TH: All of my writing comes from personal experiences and my feelings. That’s why I love making music so much. It’s like my diary – it’s therapy for me.
AF: What’s up next for you?
TH: I’m planning on pushing Moonchild for several months, and I’m trying to get out and perform at more shows out of town. Also, I am writing and working on my next EP for 2022! The grind doesn’t stop.
Follow Tori Helene on Instagram for ongoing updates.